From Arijit Singh to Neha Bhasin: Singers Talk About When They Forgot Lyrics to a Song

Bestselling performer Adele, who is currently touring with her latest album 25, made a boo-boo, while performing one of her favourite songs. The singer was singing Million Years Ago during her concert in Lisbon, Portugal. She mucked up her lyrics and the result was hilarious. “…Wrong words,” she said, as the crowd burst into laughter. This isn’t the first time that the British singer forgot the words to a song. Days ago, while belting out her hit song Rolling in the Deep, she suddenly said the wrong words and needed to start over from the beginning of the song. “…Stop, I did the wrong words. Let’s do it again,” the songstress giggled.

Bollywood singers talk about when they’ve faced a similar situation and how they handled it.

Arijit Singh

It happens to me all the time. I make up new words somehow and continue, hoping no one will notice.

Mika Singh

For a singer, it’s very normal to forget the lyrics. I think all of us have gone through that moment at some point or the other. It has happened to me too. But how you cover it up is what makes the difference. On stage, you have to ensure that you don’t let the audience down. It’s a constant effort that an artiste has to make. The goof-up can be covered by a singer’s inherent charisma and his ability to reconnect. It’s all about how to handle the crowd. When you are a star, you can get away with these goof-ups. Reason? While some people come to hear you sing, there is an audience who comes to watch you sing live. For someone like me, the visual element adds to the act.

Benny Dayal

Of course, it has happened to me. I’m not perfect. Sometimes, singers do forget their lyrics… very rarely, though. The best way to cover it is to laugh it off and just hum the tune at the same section and then carry on from the point where you remember the remaining lyrics.

Vishal Dadlani

It happens to everyone. As long as one doesn’t get rattled, it’s easy to recover. No need to cover anything up. We’re all human, even the best of us. Imperfections and improvisations are what make live performances unique and precious! Otherwise, the crowd could just hear the songs played ‘perfectly’, on their stereos at home. The audience comes to concerts to share their love with the artist, so I have found, they are always supportive.

Manmeet Singh (of Meet Bros)

It has happened a few times. We sing about 100 songs in a gig out of which 25 are our own… and we keep adding our new hits in each show, so sometimes we forget the verses. Being composers and writers saves us as we make our own words spontaneously and audiences love it because they get to hear a new version of the song.

Ankit Tiwari

It’s no big deal if a singer forgets the lyrics. It happens. There are a lot of things for a singer to keep in mind. Adele forgot the lyrics and it is a common thing. It happened with me once while performing for a concert. My band took over and I managed to recollect the lyrics instantly.


(Laughs) A lot of times. I’m sure it happens to most singers when performing on stage. What do I do? Well, I just turn an impromptu lyricist.

Kavita Krishnamurthy

Sometimes when it has happened I’ve just kind of grinned and continued. It has happened only in my own concerts where I’ve sung for at least an hour and the audience by then has known me and maybe grinned along.

Kavita Seth

It’s absolutely normal for any singer, howsoever big or small, to forget the lyrics once in a while. This is where your band members come to your rescue by playing a musical jugalbandi or interlude while you recoup. Yes, it happened to me once during my concert, Anandotsav. I forgot the lyrics of a song I have performed over 1,000 times. My band members took over and meanwhile, I, fortunately, recollected the words. This happens when you are so immersed in your work that Mother Nature tells you who is the boss!

 Neha Bhasin

Lyrics are something that is usually the biggest anxiety point of me. Sometimes we are performing up to 15 songs at once and remembering the lyrics of all can get a little difficult for me. I have sung in Tamil shows that are live on television and in those I literally was sweating as I went blank on stage. I actually mumbled some words and made my own Tamil lyrics to get away with it. I have even forgotten the opening line of my own song Dhunki on stage once. But I feel people in India are little more forgiving than the US where they make a bigger deal out of it. Sometimes your memory just fails you and everybody has a blank moment.

Anoop Jalota

Many times. And I never carry any book of songs. At the time of crisis of this kind, the poet in me wakes up and the new correct line is ready before people realise. Ye daulat bhi lelo ye shohrat bhi lelo. Bhale chheenlomujhse meri jawaani. Magar mujhko lautado Jagjit waapas wo ghazleinruhani wo shamein suhani. Just giving you an example of how some quick thinking can save the situation.